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 Mercedes De Acosta

Mercedes De Acosta

Birth
New York, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
Death 9 May 1968 (aged 75)
New York, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
Burial Manhattan, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
Memorial ID 8744496 · View Source
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Author, folk figure. Born in New York City to wealthy Cuban immigrants, Mercedes often claimed she thought she was a boy named "Raphael" until she was seven. Through her sister Rita, who posed for well-known painters, Mercedes met Rodin, Stravinsky, and other notables in the artistic, musical, and literary circles. She married Abram Poole in what was called at the time a "lavendar marriage," meaning he was a cover for her lesbian affairs. Alice B. Toklas said of her, "Say what you will about Mercedes, she's had the most important women in the twentieth century." Her lovers included Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich, Isadora Duncan, stage actress Eva Le Galliene, and Tallulah Bankhead. Her one official Hollywood credit was for the screenplay for 1932's "Rasputin and the Empress," although she did screenwriting for many other films, as well as several plays and four volumes of poetry. In 1960 her memoir "Here Lies the Heart" was published, although she glossed over many of her affairs with Hollywood's elite. Dietrich praised the book; Garbo disowned Mercedes and never spoke to her again. Needing brain surgery in 1961, she had to sell her jewelry to pay the bill. She was offered thousands to sell her letters from Garbo, but refused; she instead willed them to the Rosenbach Museum, on the condition that they not be made public until ten years after the death of the last surviving correspondent (the letters were released to the public in April 2000, ten years after Garbo's death). Having alienated many of her friends and lovers by publishing her biography, she died almost penniless and alone in New York. Her friend Cecil Beaton said upon her death, "I am relieved that her long drawn out unhappiness has at last come to an end." After the Stonewall riots and a new interest in gay and lesbian history, "Here Lies the Heart" was republished the mid 1970's and enjoyed great success, making Mercedes a well known name, although more for her love affairs than any of her literary works.

Bio by: Jennifer M.



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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Jennifer M.
  • Added: 12 May 2004
  • Find A Grave Memorial 8744496
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Mercedes De Acosta (1 Mar 1893–9 May 1968), Find A Grave Memorial no. 8744496, citing Trinity Church Cemetery and Mausoleum, Manhattan, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .